Nonpartisan Candidate Guide for 2016 U.S. Presidential Race – Four Candidate

This guide outlines positions of the Democratic and Republican candidates, plus the Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates. For detailed source information, see campuselect.org/guides.html

For more information or to volunteer, visit:

Abortion: Should abortion be highly restricted?

Clinton: No.
Trump: Yes.
Johnson: No.
Stein: No.

Campaign Finance: Do you support the DISCLOSE Act, requiring political ads to list key funders?

Clinton: Yes.
Trump: Individual position unclear; party platform opposes.
Johnson: No position found.
Stein: No position found.

Campaign Finance: Support Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited corporate & union campaign contributions?

Clinton: No. Proposes Constitutional amendment to overturn.
Trump: Ambiguous. Condemns money in politics. Praises Justice Scalia who voted in favor of decision.
Johnson: Yes. Considers it a First Amendment issue.
Stein: No.

Climate Change: Is human activity causing climate change? Should government limit greenhouse gas emissions?

Clinton: Yes on both: “an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time.” Supports EPA coal plant restrictions.
Trump: No on both. “Climate change is a hoax.” “Cancel Paris climate agreement.” Opposes EPA coal plant restrictions.
Johnson: Humans probably cause climate change, but not the role of government to regulate.
Stein: Yes on both. “Halt any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure.”

Climate change: Support renewable energy subsidies?

Clinton: Yes.
Trump: No. Let market decide.
Johnson:  Unclear. In 2012 endorsed a resolution for renewable tax credits, more recently said wouldn’t subsidize wind energy.
Stein: Yes. Enact an emergency Green New Deal.

​Contraception:  Let employers withhold contraceptive coverage due to personal religious beliefs?

Clinton: No.
Trump: Yes.
Johnson: No clear position found.
Stein: No.

Courts: Should the Senate have confirmed Obama’s Supreme Court nominee for Justice Scalia’s seat?

Clinton: Yes.
Trump: No.
Johnson: Yes.
Stein: No position found.

Economy: To grow the economy increase government infrastructure spending? Or reduce taxes?

Clinton: More infrastructure investment.
Trump: Both reduced taxes and more infrastructure investment.
Johnson: Eliminate Corporate Taxes and Income Tax, replace with consumption tax on goods and services.
Stein: Infrastructure spending: Green New Deal.

Economy: Prioritize deficit reduction or economic stimulus?

Clinton: Prioritize economic stimulus.
Trump:Prioritize economic stimulus but save $ by cutting depts. like EPA.
Johnson: Prioritize balanced budget, “veto any legislation that will result in deficit spending.”
Stein: Prioritize stimulus package: Green New Deal.

Education:  Abolish the Dept. of Education & leave school funding & regulation to the states? 

Clinton: No.
Trump: Yes.
Johnson: Yes.
Stein: No.

Education: Make public college tuition free for students from families earning $125,000 or less? Have government help refinance student loans to lower interest rates?

Clinton: Yes on both, using federal subsidies to cover costs. Expand income-contingent loan repayment.
Trump: Trump position unclear. His education advisor considers tuition subsidies & loan refinancing too costly, advocates private sector handling loans.
Johnson: No. Opposes federally guaranteed student loans, and government subsidies of loans, though open to negotiating reduced interest rates with banks.
Stein: Yes on both, “guarantee tuition-free education pre-school through university.”

Environment: Abolish Environmental Protection Agency?

Clinton: No.
Trump: Yes.
Johnson: No.
Stein: No.

Financial Regulation: Support Dodd-Frank, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau & regulates banks & financial institutions?

Clinton: Yes.
Trump: No. Will come “close to dismantling.”
Johnson: No position found.
Stein: Did not go far enough.

Gay Rights: Support gay marriage?

Clinton: Yes, since 2013. Supported civil unions since 2000.
Trump: Would appoint Supreme Court Justices who’d reconsider federal mandate & let states decide.
Johnson: Yes.
Stein: Yes.

Gay Rights: Should federal government prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation?

Clinton: Yes.
Trump: No. Leave decision & legislation to states.
Johnson: Yes
Stein: Yes

Guns: Stricter background checks for gun purchases & ban assault rifles?

Clinton: Yes to both
Trump: No to both
Johnson: No to both
Stein: Yes to both

Healthcare: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare?

Clinton: No. Her plan also lets 50-year-olds buy into Medicare.
Trump: Yes. Let Americans deduct health insurance cost from taxes.
Johnson: Yes. Also Medicare should be cut. Government should not be involved in health care.
Stein: Repeal and replace with “Medicare for All” public health insurance program.

Immigration: How would you address America’s 11 million illegal immigrants? Should undocumented young people who entered the U.S. before age 16 & meet certain conditions get protection from deportation?

Clinton: Comprehensive reform with earned path to citizenship for adults. Expand DREAM Act protection for children who came to U.S. when young.
Trump: Build wall. First said deport all illegal immigrants; then said wouldn’t deport everyone. Also end automatic citizenship for U.S.-born children of immigrant parents.
Johnson: Make easier for immigrants to get a work visa; create a path to citizenship.
Stein: Create path to citizenship for immigrants. Support DREAM Act. End deportations.

Immigration: Ban immigration by Muslims?

Clinton: No.
Trump: Initial plan, ban all Muslims. Now ban immigration from any nation “compromised by terrorism.”
Johnson: No.
Stein: No.

Iran: Support treaty limiting Iran’s nuclear capacity in return for lifting economic sanctions?

Clinton: Yes.
Trump: No.
“Skeptic,” but “wouldn’t get rid of treaty.”
Stein: Yes. Create nuclear-free zone in the entire Middle East.

Iraq: Did you support the Iraq war? What about Obama’s draw-down of troops? Should the US commit significant additional ground troops to Iraq to combat ISIS? 

Clinton: Voted to give Bush authority for war; then said “made a mistake.” Supported Obama draw-down. Opposes adding more combat troops, but wants more support for Arab & Kurdish ground forces.
Trump: Says opposed war but made no public opposition statements at time, & some indicating support. Later supported troop withdrawal. Now supports 20,000-30,000 additional U.S. troops.
Johnson: Opposed war. Boots on ground, bombs, & drones “make things worse.” ISIS has been “largely contained geographically.”
Stein: End Iraq and Afghan wars, withdraw troops & military contractors. Weapons embargo in Middle East.

Marijuana: Support legalizing marijuana?

Clinton: Let states decide.
Trump: Let states decide.
Johnson: Yes.
Stein: Yes.

Minimum Wage: Raising the $7.25-an-hour national minimum wage?

Clinton: Yes. Supports $12-per-hour national minimum, & encouraged individual cities & states to require $15 per hour.
Trump: Previously opposed any national minimum wage. Then said open to $10 national minimum.
Johnson: No. “Eliminate all federal wage standards.”
Stein: Yes. Supports $15-per-hour.

Nuclear Weapons: Would you consider using nuclear weapons against ISIS?

Clinton: No.
Trump: Yes. “I’m never going to rule anything out.
Johnson: No position found.
Stein: No.

Police: How would you deal with police violence against citizens & citizen violence against police?

Clinton: Support police, set guidelines on use of force, & budget $1 billion for police training to address racial tensions.
Trump: “I will restore law and order to our country.” “You can’t have true compassion without providing safety.”
Johnson: “Root” of violence is “war on drugs.”
Stein: End police brutality & demilitarize police

Prisons: How to address the record U.S. prison population? 

Clinton: In 1994 supported more penalties & sentences. Now says “time to end the era of mass incarceration.” Party Platform includes diversion for nonviolent offenders
Trump: Favors privatizing prisons & being “tough on crime.” Party Platform includes diversion for nonviolent offenders.
Johnson: End unnecessary laws including ‘three strikes. ’Privatize prisons.
Stein: End mass incarceration. Eliminate harsh mandatory sentencing requirements.

Social Security:  Support partial privatization of Social Security?

Clinton: No
Trump: Has previously supported, no recent stand. Platform supports.
Johnson: Yes. Supports full privatization.
Stein: No

Taxes: Increase or decrease taxes on the wealthy & corporations?

Clinton: Increase taxes on both
Trump: Decrease on both as part of tax cut plan
Johnson: Decrease taxes on both. Would like to eliminate income and corporate taxes.
Stein: Increase taxes on both

Torture: Are approaches like waterboarding that some consider torture acceptable in the fight against terror?

Clinton: No
Trump: Yes
Johnson: No
Stein: No

Trade: Support or oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal?

Clinton: Oppose, although previously supported it.
Trump: Oppose.
Johnson: Support.
Stein: Oppose.

Voting Rights: Support strict voter ID rules even if this prevents some people from voting? Restore Voting Rights Act?

Clinton: No, strict ID laws “disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people.” Need to restore Voting Rights Act.
Trump: Yes on voter ID. Otherwise people “will vote 10 times.” No statement on Voting Rights Act.
Johnson: No on voter ID. No position found on Voting Rights Act.
Stein: No. Restore Voting Rights Act.

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project,  www.campuselect.org, a nonpartisan effort to help college & university administrators, faculty, & student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Countable.usVotesmart.orgwww.ballotopedia.orgOntheIssues.orgFactCheck.orgPolitifact.com, & public candidate statements. For a comprehensive guide to all races including local races & state initiatives, see League of Women Voters, Vote411.org, or Ballotready.org.  Candidate positions as of August 31.